With a lot of progressive metal, it seems to have a story telling side to its likeable qualities, which could be said the same for The Chronicles Of Israfel. Their latest offering to the world is ‘A Trillion Lights, Tome II’ which is a staggering 9 years after their first album. With the time to spend to themselves and to collect all their musical knowledge, the Cifarelli brothers have released this new record, but how will it fair amongst everything out there.
Kicking off with the intro track and a very delicate and atmospheric use of different string/wooden instruments to create something from the get go that entices you and leaves you thinking ‘Where can they go from here?’. Well, they go straight into ‘Goddamned’ and that takes you over to the other side of their spectrum. Bringing a powerful riff set and thrashing drums right after you’re lulled into a false sense of security is a great way to kick off the album. The vocals seem very subdued compared to the rest of the instrumentation which puts a bit of a downer on the track, but thankfully the entire instrumentation pulls it through.
As the album progresses through its songs, it shows some of the same signs during the beginning. The guitars and drums are a strong feature throughout the entire record whether it be through fast paced and a boosted low end or when it comes times to go through an acoustic and spatially aware string sections, it helps being amplified by somewhat syncopated drum sections that add to their specific sections that are being produced. The whole overall theme that comes across, as cliche as it might sound for its genre, is progressive. It’s rare that you see an album kinda push a bit more of its boundaries as much as this one tries to do.
Some of the tracks have a weird mixing quality about them. With parts of the record having drowned out vocals compared to the rest of the band and then sometimes it can feel like you don’t know what is supposed to be the highlight of the song. The final 12 minute track ‘The Turning Of The Heavens’, as captivating as the track is itself, you’ll get parts of it where the cymbals will drown out bits of guitar, then the synth will blast through and the snare will be oddly quiet, then the guitars will feature more prominent. It has that odd effect of trying to work itself out on the cuff from beginning to end.
For this album that has been 9 years in the waiting for a lot of fans, as the band they brought it to a very positive standard. Its just when you listen to the record you cant help but notice the little niggles that could have been more refinery polished.
Released: 15th October 2016
For Fans Of: Devin Townsend Project / Dream Theater
Label: BOH Records